Legends of Razorback celebrated

In October 2023, Aussie Angles5 MinutesBy Mike WilliamsNovember 22, 2023

The weekend of 25 to 27 August saw Alice Springs become the epicentre of the Australian road transport industry, as it hosted the highly anticipated 2023 Road Transport Hall of Fame inductions. This was a special year, as the legends of the 1979 Razorback Blockade were rightly celebrated.

With more than 60 deserving individuals being honoured, the 2023 Road Transport Hall of Fame celebrations was an occasion that showcased the industry’s rich history and achievements, highlighting the spirit of those who dedicated their lives to moving the nation forward.

One of the standout moments of the event was the inaugural History Makers Award, awarded to the surviving leaders of the Razorback Blockade. Spencer Watling and Carle Goodfellow were personally presented with their awards, while Ted ‘Greendog’ Stevens was represented by two of his now adult children, Ben and Kelly. Barry Grimson was unable to attend and was represented by Chris Moore. Colin Bird’s award was received by Kath Gilbert. Jack Hibbert was unrepresented and seems to have disappeared into history.

The 1979 Razorback Blockade is not only a piece of transport history but a piece of Australian history and is, without doubt, the greatest act of insurrection in this country’s history. It was a pivotal moment in the industry, highlighting the determination and solidarity of those who rallied together to overcome challenges and advance the interests of the road transport sector.

The award recognises the past and emphasises the importance of unity and perseverance within the industry. The History Makers Award was created at the suggestion of industry icon Bob McMillan and myself. We pushed for the need to accurately record the history of the blockade in the best possible place, the Road Transport Hall of Fame. The contributions of many others completed the work, most notably Kath Gilbert, with help from many others from other blockade sites who will no doubt be recognised with their own History Makers Award in the coming years. The team at Truckin’ Life was pleased the recently relaunched masthead was one of the award sponsors.

As the sun set on the inductions, the festivities continued with the Transport Women Australia Dream Makers Ball, an elegant affair held in the grandeur of the Kenworth Pavilion. This event was a celebration of achievements and a testament to the diversity and inclusion that define the modern road transport landscape. Transport Women Australia has been a driving force in advocating for greater representation of women in the industry, and the Dream Makers Ball showcases the progress being made.

The Kenworth pavilion provided a fitting backdrop for the gala, with the ring of gleaming prime movers surrounding the tables. Kenworth’s presence was a nod to the industry’s technological evolution. The synergy between the event’s location and the celebration of pioneers and innovators emphasised the interconnectedness of heritage and progress.

The evening was an immersive experience, intertwining the event’s glamour with the industry’s grit. From elegant gowns and sharp suits to tales of cross-country journeys and unrelenting dedication, the Dream Makers Ball encapsulated the multi-faceted nature of road transport. It was a reminder that behind every successful journey, there are countless stories of hard work, resilience and determination.

The road transport sector is often characterised by long hours, vast distances and its essential role in connecting communities and businesses. The inductions and Dream Makers Ball celebrated the individuals who have championed these endeavours and underscored the industry’s significance to the nation’s prosperity. The events showcased how road transport is not just about vehicles on the road but about the people who drive progress.

In a constantly evolving world, the Road Transport Hall of Fame inductions testify to the industry’s ability to adapt and thrive. It is a reminder that the road ahead is paved with challenges and opportunities to shape the future. As the legacy of those who have come before continues to inspire the next generation of road transport professionals, the industry’s story will undoubtedly continue to be one of innovation, perseverance, and the unwavering drive to move forward.